iPads Continue To Vanish At The Airport Thanks To Thieving TSA Officers

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Lose a black MacBook at JFK airport? Sean Henry might have it.
Was your iPad mini stolen at JFK airport? Sean Henry might have it.

A TSA agent caught stealing iPads and numerous other electronic devices was arrested this week following a sting operation at New York City’s John F. Kennedy Airport. Sean Henry, 32, joins the growing list of TSA workers who have been accused of stealing from passengers as they pass through airport checkpoints across the United States.

Henry’s arrest follows an ABC News investigation carried out back in September, which revealed that 381 TSA officers had been fired for theft since 2003. Henry will be the latest, after Transportation Security Administration spokesman David Castelveter confirmed that the TSA has “taken the steps to begin processing [Henry] for termination.”

“TSA holds its employees to the highest ethical standards and has zero tolerance for misconduct in the workplace,” Castelveter added in a statement.

Apple’s iOS devices — the iPad, in particular — appear to be a popular target for some TSA agents, who believe it’s okay to take passengers’ belongings home with them. Unfortunately for them, they’re also the easiest to track. Using Apple’s free Find My iPad feature, owners can locate their missing devices using a free iOS app, or in a web browser on any computer.

During its investigation, ABC News purposely left behind iPads at several airport checkpoints throughout the U.S. in an effort to discover whether all would be returned. Nine of the ten were, but one, which was left behind in Orlando, Florida, ended up at the home of TSA officer Andy Ramirez. Ramirez was later fired for the theft.

Port Authority spokesman Steve Colman told ABC that they’re stepped up their sting investigations in response to the investigation, and as a result of more complaints from passengers who have had possessions stolen at the airport. “These sting operations have been growing out there to try to curb this level of luggage theft, especially as the Christmas holidays are approaching,” Coleman said.

Clearly they are working, but that’s exactly how Henry was caught. Officers used the Find My iPad feature to track the two devices that had been intentionally left behind, and they found them with Henry as they left JFK on the airport’s AirTrain system. And that’s not all Henry was carrying.

In Henry’s backpack, investigators found a MacBook Pro, a pair of Beats by Dr. Dre headphones — still boxed, an iPad mini, an iPod, and an iPhone. A subsequent search of his home also uncovered a stolen MacBook. Needless to say Henry was charged with grand larceny and possession of stolen property.

Source: ABC News